Author Topic: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease (updates #16, #20, #44, #51)  (Read 8062 times)

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Amaya

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Goodbye party vs. celiac disease (updates #16, #20, #44, #51)
« on: January 27, 2014, 12:46:14 PM »
Hi eHellions,

I'm leaving my current job, and my lovely coworkers have organized a goodbye party taking place on Wednesday (two days from today). I just learned a few minutes ago that it's not just a cocktail hour, as had been previously described to me, but a full sit-down dinner. Unfortunately, I've recently been diagnosed with celiac disease, and I've been instructed by my nutritionist to avoid eating in restaurants for the time being, due to the cross-contamination potential in a restaurant kitchen. Many of my coworkers know about my diagnosis, including the ones planning the party. I've checked the restaurant menu and, as I'd thought, there's nothing I can eat.

I'm just wondering how I should bring this up with the party planners, if at all. I don't want to impose--it's so nice of them to put this together for me--but I'm not sure watching my coworkers eat is going to make for a very fun goodbye party. Changing the venue doesn't seem like it'll work with the party only two days away, *and* they specifically asked me to pick the venue--this was before I knew about the sit-down dinner and thought it would just be cocktails. I had thought of just having one drink and leaving, but that would mean they'd all be eating without the guest of honor, which would be awkward and probably rude of me.

Any sage advice? :)
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 07:54:56 PM by Amaya »

Marguette

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2014, 12:52:22 PM »
I would simply bring my own food.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2014, 12:54:02 PM »
I would simply bring my own food.

I agree - after checking with the restaurant that it would be OK.  It may not be, due to health regulations.
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bloo

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2014, 01:04:44 PM »
I would call the restaurant and explain your situation and ask if there is anything they could suggest. If there is no way to accommodate you, inform the party planners you may only stay for drinks, even if everyone else wishes to stay for dinner to give you wiggle room to leave. You may be surprised to find that youre having a good time even if youre not eating but just enjoying drinks or cappucino! I was in this position a lot when when I started my restricted eating plan and it was difficult at first because it was different but I learned not to focus on the food but the fellowship instead.

Have ready phrases like , 'hubby has a big dinner waiting for me' or 'had a huge lunch' for those concerned. And enjoy yourself! :)

Amaya

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2014, 01:06:00 PM »
That had occurred to me too, though yes, I'd call and check first.

But showing up with my own food wouldn't be awkward or passive-aggressive? I don't want to send any sort of "hey, you screwed up" message by whipping out my own Tupperware container as everyone else studies the menu.  ;D

I'm so new to all this food allergy stuff that I can't really tell what, if anything, would be "rude."

And bloo, you posted while I was typing--good ideas! I may just use one or several of those...

TootsNYC

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2014, 01:11:42 PM »
Good luck w/ celiac! I'm relatively new to the whole problem, and going to restaurants is the hardest part. I go from being a friendly, kind person to being a raving, well, let's just say I fight SO hard to keep from being petulant and unpleasant when I realize exactly how hard it is to have food.

My daughter reminded me: "you can eat a salad and a baked potato."

So there's that.

I think this is your best plan:
1) call the restaurant. Discuss things like, "do you make your salad in a stainless steel bowl?" You can have a red-wine vinaigrette, usually. And a baked potato that's been wrapped in foil is hard to mess up.

2) tell the organizers. It's early enough, maybe they can make it cocktails instead (though cocktail food is the WORST). Or they can change the place; there *are* restaurants who are willing to make some gluten-free food.

Nobody's actually driven there yet, right? And you guys probably have email, so everyone who's coming can be notified.

You aren't being unreasonable. Speak up.


EMuir

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2014, 01:16:02 PM »
I would call the restaurant and ask about their gluten-free options. Do they ensure there is no cross-contamination?

Secondly, I would call your nutritionist and ask them if it might be ok to eat out just once for this occasion.  Sometimes nutritionists are overly cautious. Actually if it were me I'd just eat out this one time but have something gluten-free.  But that's me.

Thirdly, if it turns out to really not be an option? PLEASE tell your coworkers and let them pick a different thing, like maybe drinks after work instead. 

Mikayla

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2014, 01:29:31 PM »
You could just sit down with the organizer and explore options together.  One is keep it as a happy hour;   another is just move it to a restaurant with gluten free options.  I'm seeing that gluten-free icon more and more. 

Once it's decided, talk to your nutritionist and explain the special nature of this event.  If people are getting bar food, you could decline or maybe get a baked potato or a salad with either oil or vinegar on it. 

cicero

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2014, 02:58:14 PM »
<snip>
*and* they specifically asked me to pick the venue--this was before I knew about the sit-down dinner and thought it would just be cocktails. I had thought of just having one drink and leaving, but that would mean they'd all be eating without the guest of honor, which would be awkward and probably rude of me.

Any sage advice? :)
I would go to the party planners *right now* and tell them the truth - "you asked me to pick the venue, and the reason i chose X was because it's the best for me [your, umm, what was that? oh, right, your guest of honor/reason for the party]. As you know I can't eat at Y restaurant at all. Therefore, as much as i appreciate the bigger party, please let's leave the festivities as they were, i.e., let's meet for drinks at X"

I'm sorry, but if they *know* you can't eat at the restaurant, it's a bit odd (rude?) for them to have a party in your honor at a place where you can't eat.

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tinkytinky

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2014, 03:07:50 PM »
<snip>
*and* they specifically asked me to pick the venue--this was before I knew about the sit-down dinner and thought it would just be cocktails. I had thought of just having one drink and leaving, but that would mean they'd all be eating without the guest of honor, which would be awkward and probably rude of me.

Any sage advice? :)
I would go to the party planners *right now* and tell them the truth - "you asked me to pick the venue, and the reason i chose X was because it's the best for me [your, umm, what was that? oh, right, your guest of honor/reason for the party]. As you know I can't eat at Y restaurant at all. Therefore, as much as i appreciate the bigger party, please let's leave the festivities as they were, i.e., let's meet for drinks at X"

I'm sorry, but if they *know* you can't eat at the restaurant, it's a bit odd (rude?) for them to have a party in your honor at a place where you can't eat.

I read it to mean that it was the same venue, just changed to dinner as opposed to drinks at the bar.

If you can have things like a salad or a baked potato without too much trouble, then maybe you could choose that and have a better meal later at home. I don't think it would be rude, though, if you had a quiet conversation with the person organizing and mentioning that you will probably just stay for drinks, due to the confirmation of celiacs, but you don't have a problem if others stayed to eat.

 Ultimately, it's about them wishing you well and saying goodby, so it really wouldn't be about the meal as much as the friendships.

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TootsNYC

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2014, 07:32:09 PM »
I mean, you just found this out, right? So it's not like you deliberately did this.

If I were organizing, I'd want to know. Right now.

I find that lots of people at my job want to be helpful when it comes to getting food at a place I can eat.

Mergatroyd

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2014, 07:41:40 PM »
Celiac weighing in. If you explain to the server that you have celiacs, they can make you a salad on a fresh cutting board etc. you'd be better off to bring your own dressing though. Baked potatoes can be risky because some chefs roll them in flour first so they bake up with crispier skins, however you could always ask. You might as well get in the habit of it. Although many places have GF menus now, there are many more that still don't.

Also, you'll be wanting to watch those cocktails as well. Best google them, many mixed liqueurs are not gluten free,  and you'll have to make your own choice about whether to risk things like whisky- which are not gluten free, but apparently have all the gluten cooked out of them during the distilling process. Myself, I stick with rum.

Amaya

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2014, 10:40:18 PM »
Thank you for all the replies, everyone! :)

Just wanted to confirm that yes, this is the same venue as always--they didn't pick a different one on me. I actually didn't take the menu into consideration at all when I made my choice, thinking it was just going to be cocktails at the bar and there wouldn't be a meal involved (maybe appetizers for anyone who wanted something to eat). I did take a look at the menu when I first heard about the change, and while they could potentially make me, say, a fresh Caesar salad with no dressing, there's very little (if anything) I can eat there.

And while I was just diagnosed fairly recently, it's something my coworkers/the party planners have known for weeks before I gave my notice, so it's not like we'd already made the plans and then I was diagnosed out of the blue.

Also, I would *love* to be able to pull off a "just this once" cheat, but that's really not possible on my new diet! All my doctors, not just my nutritionist, have sworn up and down that there's No Cheating Allowed.

So I think tomorrow I'll call the restaurant and ask about whether they could accommodate me, and if not, I'll just enjoy the company without ordering anything. I might bring my own food if the restaurant allows it, but I'm not sure I'm going to have time to cook anything extra between now and then!

One more question, though: If it does turn out I really can't safely eat anything there, would it actually be rude/ungrateful to just have a drink and leave early while everyone else is eating? (I hope I'll be having a wonderful enough time anyway that there'd be no need of this, but now I'm just curious.)

TootsNYC

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2014, 10:44:50 PM »
Yeah, "cheating" isn't a concept w/ celiac. When you eat gluten, you damage yourself.
Why do that?

And for a lot of people, the negative effects are immediate. It's not unlike an allergy in that way--there's no such thing as "cheating"; there's just "self-destructive."

I do think you shouldn't leave early. You're the guest of honor.

Also, these people want to honor you and please you. Tell them, and they can still change it to cocktails or a different restaurant. I'm sure I'd greatly prefer that to having you bail on us early!
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 10:49:07 PM by TootsNYC »

GrammarNerd

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Re: Goodbye party vs. celiac disease
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2014, 11:35:30 PM »
It's really thoughtful of them to want to have a goodbye party for you.

However, I do have to ask....is this one of those climates where it's not as much about you as it about "oh, gee, a reason for a party!"

If it's not, and they TRULY want to honor you and do something nice for you, then I think it's fine for you to make them aware of your restrictions and/or ask that they change it back to cocktails only.

And if it is, where they're pseudo-honoring you but they really just want an excuse for a night out, then I think it's fine to leave early.

Either way, I think you should say to the organizers ahead of time, "Hey, in case you don't remember, I have celiac disease.  That means I won't be able to eat anything at XXX place.  I really appreciate this, but can we just have cocktails instead?  I'd feel badly if I have to leave a party in my honor when everyone else is eating."

I don't think that's inappropriate.